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Seoul: Shares post sharpest monthly fall since March on virus, US election worries

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares recorded their sharpest monthly decline in seven months on Friday, weighed by uncertainties over the upcoming US presidential election and surging coronavirus infections globally.

The benchmark Kospi closed down 59.52 points, or 2.56 per cent, at 2,267.15. The index slumped 3.97 per cent for the week and dropped 2.61 per cent for the month, its sharpest monthly fall since March.

Global coronavirus cases rose by more than 500,000 for the first time on Wednesday, as France and Germany implemented fresh lockdowns.

South Korea reported 114 new cases as of Thursday midnight, slightly fewer than 125 a day earlier.

Meanwhile, the White House coronavirus task force urged tough countermeasures as at least nine states reported record daily increases in new infections on Thursday.

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"Volatility in markets will likely continue until the US election next week ... worries over more lockdowns globally is adding to the volatility," said Seo Jung-hun, Samsung Securities' analyst.

Foreigners were net sellers of US$881.28 million worth of shares on the main board.

REUTERS

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